Student Spotlight: Brooklyn Koski | PostIndependent.com

Student Spotlight: Brooklyn Koski

Jessica Cabe
jcabe@postindependent.com

Brooklyn Koski, a 17-year-old senior at Basalt High School, has written an award-winning play and self-published an eBook all before graduation.

Brooklyn Koski has been telling stories since before she knew how to write, but now that the 17-year-old Basalt High School senior is plenty capable of putting pen to paper, she's sharing her stories on a much larger scale.

Koski told the Post Independent about her award-winning play and her recently published eBook, as well as her plans for the future — writing and otherwise.

Post Independent: When did you first discover that you loved writing? What did you love about it?

Brooklyn Koski: I discovered that I loved writing at a very young age, but really, it started with a love of books. I used to memorize the stories my parents read to me before I knew how to read so that I could enjoy them on my own. I decided that I wanted to create my own stories, write my own books, and I remember asking my parents to write down stories that I dictated to them because all I knew how to do was scribble my signature at the end. Between my love of books and my love of storytelling, I discovered my love of writing. But it wasn't until my cousin and I decided in the fourth grade that we wanted to try to write our own official novels that I made a serious hobby out of writing.

PI: Tell me about the award-winning play you wrote recently.

BK: In the past three years, I have participated in a playwriting competition through Theater Masters called Take Ten. The play that I submitted freshman year was runner-up. I submitted a different play sophomore year that made top 10, and a third play last year called "Observant" that ended up being one of the winning high school plays. "Observant" was a short comedic play about a policeman and a young woman who happen to end up having a conversation in a coffee shop. The policeman is trying to share some wisdom about the value of being observant of the world with the young woman while she is trying to get him to notice the crime taking place nearby. I hoped to create an ironic situation to bring some humor and entertainment to the competition (and potentially beyond) because I had noticed a trend toward the negative and dark in my limited exposure to playwriting. I would like to consider myself a positive person, and I believe that there is more to a good story than devastation and tragedy.

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PI: How did it feel to have "Observant" recognized with this award?

BK: There was something incredibly surreal in seeing my work performed by someone else, in hearing my words not only come from someone else but to hear them interpreted by someone else. Up until that time, my characters and stories have been nothing more than words on a page if they are fortunate enough to get outside of my head. It was an incredible opportunity to see them take on a physical, human element.

PI: Tell me about the eBook you self-published.

BK: In August of 2013, I self-published an eBook titled "The Weatherman." This represented a culmination of many years of trying and failing to write a book that I deemed publish-worthy. "The Weatherman" was finally a unique idea, and I felt that my writing had finally matured enough through trial and error to publish. It is historical fiction set in medieval times with a science fiction twist. But it is also a story about two girls in two very different circumstances growing up in uncertain times, trying to come to terms with themselves and the world around them and trying to solve the mystery of who is responsible for the unique weather issues that their kingdom faces. I got the idea on a road trip to Illinois when I was 13, and I finished writing about a year later. The following year, it was published.

PI: What are you working on now?

BK: I had been working on a story for a few years, but I have hit some complications. I was initially too ambitious and created too many main characters, and my plot and style suffered for the concentration I put into character development. At the beginning of the summer I decided to scrap what I had and start over, which was overwhelming and discouraging. A movie was released shortly after my decision that was unsettlingly similar. My choice has been to pursue that story anyway or to start a new one. I am not decided yet, but I think I will go with the latter.

PI: Do you like writing aside from fiction/literature?

BK: Writing beyond fiction and literature is difficult for me, but I am learning to enjoy it. I have found that there is an element of storytelling in almost every type of writing, and storytelling is where I have fun. If I can find something to get creative with or a story to tell within a project, it does not matter the genre.

PI: Do you think you'll continue writing? If so, do you see it as a career or hobby?

BK: I think I would go crazy if I stopped writing. It is a passion of mine, but I think it would be very difficult to support myself just by writing books. Realistically, I will probably have to be content to be an author as a hobby.

PI: What are you plans for after high school?

BK: I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and I am planning on furthering my education through the opportunities provided by them. I am currently enrolled in a program that involves doing 70 hours of volunteer ministry work a month, and I would like to continue that.

Additionally, I have been trying to learn a couple of languages (American Sign Language and Spanish). I would love to put these languages to good use and travel to places where these languages are spoken.

And of course, as I build my career and continue learning, I have every intention of writing and publishing more books.

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If you know of a high school student in the arts you think should be featured in Student Spotlight, get in touch with arts and entertainment editor Jessica Cabe at 970-384-9131 or jcabe@postindependent.com.